Seven encounters with Culture and Health

Institutional Communication Service

5 October 2021

Scientific evidence shows that arts and culture are valuable sources to improve people's physical and psychological well-being throughout their lives. Therefore, from October to December, for seven Mondays, leading figures from the world of culture will converse with professors from USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences on the many aspects proposed by international experts that link culture to health.

The course "Culture and Health" of USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences is open to the public and carried out in collaboration with the Cultural Division of the City of Lugano and IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research.

The seven thematic evenings, open to the public and medical students (with recognition of 1 ECTS), will take place from Monday, 18 October to Monday, 6 December in the East Campus multipurpose hall from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Each lecture will be introduced and moderated by Prof. Enzo Grossi, author of the book "Cultura e salute, la partecipazione culturale come strumento per un nuovo welfare", and will include an introductory key-note speech by an international guest who will present, in remote, the lecture's theme based on his or her specific experience and expertise.

No registration is required to participate.

Nota bene: It is necessary to present a Covid certificate (from 16 y.o.), masks are mandatory.

The encounters will be held on the following dates:

18 October
Art, Culture, Health and Wellness
The role of art and cultural participation on health: an overview.

Speaker: Enzo Grossi, culture and health expert and author of "Cultura e salute, la partecipazione culturale come strumento per un nuovo welfare";
Discussion with: Graziano Martignoni, psychiatrist, and Emiliano Albanese, public health.

25 October
Inhabiting Space 

Salutogenic theory on the role of architecture and the built environment's impact on health and well-being.

Speaker: Alan Dilani, salutogenic designer;
Discussion with: Mario Botta, architect and Silke Gillessen Sommer, oncologist.

8 November
A Dive into the Landscape
The Impacts of the Natural Environment on Health. Projects, methods, results and case studies.

Speaker: Giuseppina Spano, psychologist;
Discussion with: Romolo Nottaris, mountaineer and Giovanni Pedrazzini, cardiologist.

15 November
The pursuit of happiness 
Mind-body: how culture can contribute to preventing and treating stress-related pathologies.

Speaker: Antonella Delle Fave, physician-psychologist;
Discussion with: Daniele Finzi Pasca, director and Greta Guarda, Molecular Biologist.

22 November
Mirror, mirror on the wall.
Neurons and empathy - Art, beauty and empathy: the role of mirror neurons.

Speaker: Vittorio Gallese, neuroscientist;
Discussion with: Michelangelo Pistoletto, artist and Alain Kaelin, neurologist.  

29 November
In Praise of Beauty
Neuroaesthetics: the neurobiological basis of beauty.

Speaker: Luca Ticini, cognitive neuroscientist;
Discussion with: Fabio Pusterla, poet and Andrea Alimonti, oncologist.

6 December
Music, Soul and Body
The role of music as a tool for healing and promoting health.

Speaker: Alfredo Raglio, music therapy expert;
Discussion with: Markus Poschner, conductor and Pietro Majno-Hurst, surgeon.


The "Culture and Health" Project

The idea of the course stems from the need to provide both USI medical students and the interested public with a new perspective on the privileged relationship between cultural participation and health status. For some years now, this relationship has become a proper discipline of study, called "Culture and Health", and the interest in the subject has grown steadily in recent years. The publication of some epidemiological studies - the result of long-term observations and representative samples of the general population - has shown how intense cultural participation is associated with benefits on several fronts: it goes from an improvement in overall well-being up to an effective extension of life expectancy, as well as the decrease in the effects of severe diseases on the patient even in chronic degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's or cancer. The cultural activity, therefore, assumes a precise value, also proving an essential tool for prevention, ensuring greater longevity and mitigating the adverse effects of chronic stress on the general state of health, in line with the new WHO interpretation of socially determined health. In light of what has been described, the course aims to provide the keys to interpreting the role played by culture in individual and social well-being, a topic not always explored with adequate scientific tools and with a multidisciplinary approach. It will also allow addressing an accurate review of experiences and best practices conducted in this sense in the scientific and medical field, associated with the vision of some leading figures in the national and international cultural world who have focused on how the "arts and culture can also mean care".

Please find attached the flyer and booklet about this course (Italian).